By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Middletown — Tyrese Gumbs is part of Pine Bush’s deep and dangerous group of running backs.
However, his role in the Wing-T offense became more prominent when another standout Pine Bush running back, Anthony Potts, was ruled ineligible to play this week. After Saturday night, it’s safe to say that Gumbs, a senior, can handle prime time.
Gumbs rushed for 137 yards with two key touchdowns to help fifth-seeded Pine Bush defeat top-seeded Warwick 47-36 in the semifinals of the Section 9 Class AA playoffs at Faller Field. The Bushmen (7-2) move on to play three-time defending champion Newburgh for the Class AA title at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Faller. The third-seeded Goldbacks beat rival Monroe-Woodbury 42-20 in the other semifinal on Saturday night.
“I just get the ball and I go. You have to run hard,” said Gumbs, who entered the Saturday’s game with 242 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Potts leads Pine Bush with 723 yards, but isn’t expected to play against Newburgh.
“Anthony couldn’t play, so coach (Jim Wright) put me in and he has faith in me,” Gumbs added. “I just worked hard and prepared myself at practice. I did what I had to do and I stepped up. I waited for my moment and I took advantage of it.”
Pine Bush led 28-21 at halftime, but put the game away by scoring the first 19 points of the third quarter. Gumbs opened the second half with a 44-yard touchdown run to make the score 34-21. His 14-yard touchdown run with 2:02 left in the third quarter increased the lead to 47-21.
“Gumbs is a tough, intense individual who is going to give you everything that he’s got,” Pine Bush coach Jim Wright said. “He has a second gear and he’s physically tough. We really like Tyrese because he blocks. He stepped in real easy for Potts.”
Xavier Martinez led Pine Bush with 165 yards and two touchdowns and Tyler Waller added 84 yards and two scores for the Bushmen. Harrison Parrelli rushed for 96 yards and three touchdowns for Warwick (7-2) and Jared Senius threw for 184 yards, hitting his favorite receiver, Connor Perez for a 75-yard score.
Warwick’s only other loss came to Newburgh by the score of 28-0. The Goldbacks defeated Pine Bush, seeking its first Class AA title since 2012, 34-7 on Sept. 15 in a game that was supposed to be much more competitive.
“I think with Newburgh we get a shot at redemption,” Martinez said. “We are going to try our best to take it. I think we went into the first game intimidated and we didn’t play up to our potential. But we are going to work hard and come out as the Pine Bush that we are known as.”